These days, it seems everyone has a passion. Mine happens to be eating and sleeping, periodically outwitting my dad (boringly simple), and coping with the insanity of my household. My dad’s passion is basically the same as mine, including outwitting himself. But my mom is a different story. Her passions are all over the map. No, not cartography. She loves website design, gardening, literature, networking and other pursuits about which I have absolutely zero interest. But one of her passions really gets my goat, even if I don’t have a goat to get.
She loves elephants. Now, before I proceed into a typical rant, let me state unequivocally that I think elephants are great..wonderful animals..smart..compassionate, and especially deserving of our attention and affection in light of their plight. Their environment is quickly diminishing as are their populations due to criminally barbarous poachers. That said, Mom has definitely gone off the deep end by turning our home into a sanctuary for all things elephant.
We have ceramic, clay, glass and stuffed elephants in every room of the house. There are elephant lamps, paintings (the subject, not the artist), throws, pillows, bedspreads, screen savers, toilet seats (pahleez!), elephant-shaped pasta and a book entitled “The Eloquent Elephant” (the author is actually just an obese blowhard with a long nose). All this would be bad enough, but there’s more. Mom harbors this fantasy (alright, elephantasy) that one day, an elephant will casually show up at the front door. To prepare for this likeliest of events, she has dug a watering hole in our backyard, amassed a 2-year supply of peanuts, and put together a first aid kit. The kit includes skin cream just in case the animal is suffering from pachydermititis, and CDs containing the soothing sounds of that great jazz singer Ella Phantsgerald (sp?)…each track on the CD is trunk-ated to accommodate the rare elephant with a short attention span. It’s beyond obsession.
One last note of annoyance on this subject. When Mom and Dad are intimate, they banish me from the bedroom because Mom insists on privacy. As if I cared what they’re doing. Their intimate acts are less interesting to me, and probably less active, than a snail glacially moving across the patio.
But, while Mom’s edict bans me from the bedroom, she has no problem with 15 stuffed elephants observing the proceedings. You might say that this overt discrimination is understandable because the stuffed elephants are inanimate objects (of course, one could make the same argument about my dad). However, since she knows I have no interest in her cirque de boudoir with Dad, one would reason that I am no different than the stuffed animals. OK, but I think you’d be literally ignoring the elephant(s) in the room. That is, her affection for elephants affords them the dispensation to be where I cannot. Well, looks like I found a new passion – being disgruntled at things I don’t care about.